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Cascades and CountrySide Blog: Top players take on Super Smash Bros.
This week, the Loudoun County Library at Cascades hosts the county’s top gamers for a tournament finale to name a Super Smash Bros./Wii U champion. The competition gets underway during the library’s weekly After Hours Teen Center from 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 19. Additional gaming opportunities, computer access and art supplies will be available for any teens who don’t want to sit on the sidelines. For information, call 703-444-3228.

“Scared to Death”

Eastern Loudoun’s StageCoach Theatre Co. rounds out its five-year anniversary celebration with performances of “Scared to Death,” an interactive murder mystery co-written by CountrySide resident Terry Smith. The show holds a special place of honor in the StageCoach repertoire. During its original run, Smith met Jerri Wiseman and the two decided to launch what would become the StageCoach Theatre Co. Upcoming performances are Aug. 20 at the Waterford Foundation Old School, Aug. 21 at Bright Box in Winchester, Sept. 11 at Savoir Faire in Round Hill and Sept. 17 at Stoney Creek Resort in Greenville, Va.

Art in the park

Award-winning photographers Dora Ramirez and Gerry D’Onofrio of CountrySide bring their fine art photography to the Art in the Pink Box Park in Middleburg from 10 a.m. To 3 p.m. Aug. 27. The event features a variety of artwork, as well as live music from noon to 2 p.m. from The Crooked Angels, an Upperville duo offering “bourbon-infused Americana.”

Volunteers needed

The Cascades Community Association is looking for additional volunteers to help with community events such as the Fall Festival, Cascades Firechase, movie nights and more. Increased volunteer turnout could lead to the creation of a programs committee designed to “explore whether more or different activities would be welcome in Cascades,” according to the Cascades Community Association. To volunteer, contact Member Services Assistant Hanh Reasonover at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or General Manager Josh Harber at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Budget proposals

The CountrySide Finance Committee is looking for community input on programs and budgeting plans for 2017. According to the CountrySide Proprietary, the community is equivalent to a medium-sized Virginia town and services are based on affordability, as well as feedback from residents. To provide budgeting or programming suggestions for the coming year, contact Community Relations Coordinator Laura Roethlein no later than Aug. 26 at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 703-430-0715.

The end of summer

Horizon Elementary School holds Eastern Loudoun’s first back-to-school night for the new school year. The parent/teacher meet and greet, for third through fifth-graders, takes place at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23.
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Sterling Blog: Great stage of colonial softball
OK, you try to fit all these things into one headline and see how well you fare. They say that variety is the spice of life. It’s also the spice that makes Sterling so wonderful. No matter what you love, whether it be Shakespeare, history or America’s pastime – you’ll find it right here in our community. And it’s not even a far walk to get there.

Ever wonder what would happen if the characters of Shakespeare had to solve a murder mystery? Keaton Crowe, who grew up in Sterling and went to Park View High School, wondered just that and decided to make it into a play. Crowe has been involved in a number of Sterling Playmaker productions, from starring in “Bye Bye Birdie” to being the assistant director of “Peter Pan” and a lot more. However, this fall, he’s directing a show co-written by Erin Marie Paquette, and this is your chance to be in an original, never-seen-before production of “Great Stage of Fools.”

Auditions are at 7 p.m. Aug. 25-26 and 1 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Sterling Community Center on Enterprise Street. The show will be casting 15 men and women, ages 16 and up. Auditions will consist of a cold reading from the script and a prepared monologue, which you can find at http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com along with more information about the play.

The show will go on Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-29, so even if you aren’t planning on auditioning, you can mark your calendar for this homegrown show.

This weekend, you can go back in time without inventing a time machine – and all for free. Just stop by the Lanesville section of the Claude Moore Park Historic area on Aug. 20, and learn how they did during the Colonial times. You’ll see how the colonists made bread, cooked dinner and even made clothes. Best of all, there will refreshments in case it continues to be so hot. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m. You can find out more by calling the park at 571-258-3700.

Registration is still open for the Lower Loudoun Girls Softball League, which is (in my unbiased opinion) the best softball league ever. Not only does softball teach your daughter about teamwork and sportsmanship, it also encourages individual achievement as she steps up to the plate with only a bat and a helmet. If you want to see pure joy, watch your daughter’s face as she scores a run for the first time – because (from personal experience) there’s nothing like it. The league practices at fields right in the area with many games at Sully Elementary and Claude Moore. They are also looking for coaches to help these girls excel, so be sure to check that out as well. Find out more at http://www.LLGSL.com.

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Cascades and CountrySide Blog: Caution: New traffic pattern ahead
Last week, the Nokes Boulevard/Gloucester Parkway “thruway” opened, shortening the commuting distance between Dulles Town Center and Ashburn. The new roadway offers a quick and direct connection between the two locations, but it also is presenting some serious driving challenges.

Three days after the new road opened, it started to look like the intersection of Nokes/Gloucester and Pacific Boulevard might be the most dangerous intersection in Loudoun. At that point, on half of my trips through there, I watched drivers headed toward Ashburn come to a complete stop in the middle of Gloucester, with a green light in front of them. They were stopping in a straight-through lane waiting to make a left turn onto Pacific Boulevard.

Although there are no large road markings or signs warning about the new traffic pattern, there is an arrow on the traffic light clearly indicating this lane goes straight-through only. It’s possible that, since this has always been a quiet, lightly used intersection with no cross-traffic, many drivers may still think they are operating on a slow and little-used roadway. That is no longer the case.

On the fourth day after the new road opened, it became clear that this is—for now, at least—one of the most dangerous intersections in Loudoun. Coming off of Route 28 heading south, a car in front of me swerved to the left portion of the exit and then to the right-hand exit—and back and forth again—before settling on taking the exit toward Gloucester Parkway. The car was traveling fairly fast and the driver was jerking the vehicle back and forth between the two exit choices. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to slow down and stay as far as possible from that car.

Immediately after leaving the ramp and entering Gloucester Parkway, I saw a sheriff’s deputy handling a two-car accident on the other side of the road at the traffic light. The new traffic pattern didn’t even make it a full week without an accident.

Please drive carefully at that—or any—intersection. It’s OK to miss the turn you wanted to make. Just find a safe place to turn around and make a second approach legally.

In the meantime, keep in mind that the intersection includes the access road to eastern Loudoun’s newest fire station. If an accident occurs there, help can be on the scene quickly.

Air traffic

The Falcons Landing chapter of the Military Officers Association of America presents “Keep ‘Em Flying,” a look at air traffic control and the men and women who keep the airspace safe. Presenter Fred Moore is the former chief of the international operations and procedures branch of the FAA air traffic control system. The session takes place Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Falcons Landing ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.
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Cascades and CountrySide Blog: Science in the summer
Cascades and CountrySide Blog: Summer fun in eastern Loudoun
Sterling Blog: More, please
Sterling Blog: Summer fun
Sterling Boulevard: It takes a community
Sterling Blog: Kitten season
Cascades and Countryside Blog: Potowmack Elementary students compete in Iowa
Sterling Blog: Student takeover day
Cascades and Countryside Blog: American Legion observes 40th Memorial Day
Cascades and CountrySide Blog: The fastest folks in eastern Loudoun
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